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Mineral Deficiency and Disease
Mineral Deficiency and Disease
Minerals are micronutrients which perform several functions in the body. The mineral deficiencymay lead to certain diseases.
Dietary calcium mineral deficiency leads to rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.
Rickets is softening and weakening of bones because of consuming calcium-deficient diet.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the inside of the bones become porous and over time the bone mass decreases. The bones weaken and make them more likely to fracture. Osteoporosis is a silent disease that can begin early in life and advances slowly over the years. The bone is then compromised in strength and resistance against fracture.
Therefore, it is very important to see that the diet contains sufficient amount of calcium-rich foods such as dairy products. Calcium-rich foods should be given right from childhood because the growth and development of bones occur rapidly during childhood and teenage years.
Iron mineral deficiency
Iron mineral deficiency in the diet can lead to iron mineral deficiency anaemia. It affects women mostly and is seen more in teenage girls and pregnant women.
There are different types of anaemia but iron mineral deficiency anaemia is the most common type of anaemia worldwide. According to World Health Organization (WHO) anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet physiologic needs, which vary by age, sex, altitude, smoking, and pregnancy status.
Iron mineral deficiency anaemia is caused by low amounts of iron in the body. Haemoglobin is part of red blood cells which transports oxygen to different parts of the body. Iron is a constituent of haemoglobin. The bone marrow needs iron to make haemoglobin. When diet does not provide adequate amount of iron body cannot produce sufficient haemoglobin for red blood cells.
Iron mineral deficiencyanaemia and pregnant women
It is very common among pregnant women. The blood volume increases during pregnancy therefore iron requirement also increases. If dietary iron is not sufficient iron supplementation is necessary to prevent anaemia in many pregnant women.
Providing sufficient dietary iron is very important for the well being of a person. If there is iron mineral deficiency the haemoglobin levels fall. It can be treated by providing iron rich foods and if need be iron supplements are given.
Iodine mineral deficiency
When dietary iodine is lacking it causes goiter. The term “goiter” means a thyroid gland that is larger than normal. People with iodine mineral deficiencyhave goiters because they do not make enough thyroid hormone.
The pituitary gland detects the low thyroid hormone levels in the blood, and makes more of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which pushes thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone. This increased TSH stimulation is a normal adaptation but it produces a goiter, that is, enlarged thyroid. If iodine mineral deficiency continues for a long time the stimulation of thyroid becomes chronic and goiter occurs. The goiter is a sign that the body is trying to compensate for the lack of iodine.
Goiter can be treated very easily, provide iodine in the diet. According to WHO a very simple, universally effective, and incredibly cheap technical weapon is iodized salt.